Inevitably, the end of WW2 saw a tremendous boost to the membership with newly decorated recipients of the DCM being recruited into the League by personal letters passed through their Regimental Headquarters. In the post-war years, members were addressed as ‘Brother’ or collectively as “Brethren’ and this quaint aspect of fraternity endured until the late 1990s when the first female medallists became members. The Musters continued and would regularly be attended by over 200 members and guests. In particular, the 1952 Muster had 25 VCs and over 200 DCM holders on parade. After the march-past, Arthur Caiger DCM, a headmaster at Clerkenwell who had been decorated in 1917 whilst serving with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in France, led the members in community hymn singing before the parade was finally dismissed from Whitehall. Arthur also led the singing at the FA Cup Final at Wembley from 1947 to 1962 where he was known as “the man in the white suit” and as such, the DCM was always mentioned in the song sheet every year. On 5 December 1954, the League held a centenary commemoration service at St Martin in the Fields to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the institution of the DCM. On that day, there were DCM recipients present who had been decorated for their actions in South Africa, WW1, WW2, Korea and other campaigns. In 1956, the members of the DCM League celebrated the silver jubilee of the DCM League at a special event in London.

Arthur Caiger DCM leads the hymn singing in Whitehall after the 1955 parade.

DCM holders during the service at the Cenotaph 1954.


Brigadier Jackie Smyth VC MC greets a Chelsea Pensioner who had been decorated with the DCM for his actions in South Africa.

The League’s President was always a distinguished soldier; in 1948 the President was Field Marshal, the Lord Chetwode GCB OM GCSI KCMG DSO, succeeded in 1954 by Field Marshal, the Lord Wilson of Libya GCB GBE DSO. It was Brigadier Sir Jackie Smyth VC MC MP, who as President, helped to form the VC & GC Association but he remained President of the League until 1968. Through him, the League and the Association maintained close links in looking after decorated servicemen. To this day, the President of the League is invited to attend the VC & GC Association annual service of thanksgiving, remembrance and re-dedication at the St Martin in the Fields church in London. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother became the royal patron for several years until the current Patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG GCMG GCVO ADC assumed the appointment in June 1967 and attended the Muster at Chelsea Barracks. A unique Memorial Scroll was produced marking that event which was signed by those members present.


Brigadier Jackie Smyth VC MC chats with former WO2 George Murphy DCM of the Irish Guards who was decorated in 1917 and who in 1952 was the oldest member of the DCM League. Standing next to him is a lady decorated with the MM. On her left is Sergeant K Jackman DCM The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), who is not wearing his DCM as his decoration for service in Malaya in 1951 had only just been gazetted and he had not yet been invested by The King.


The League standards formed up on Horseguards in 1952